Warren Township woman covertly calling 911 aids police in arresting suspect
By Ed Runyan
A North Park Avenue woman who secretly dialed 911 while being robbed Saturday night helped police arrest a 40-year-old Mecca Township man.
Lt. Don Bishop of the Warren Township Police Department said the woman was smart to have dialed 911, then hang up after it was answered so the burglar wouldn’t realize she made the call.
“She did a good job,” Bishop said.
Township Patrolman Jason Lamtman was dispatched to a hang-up 911 call at 9:53 p.m., knocked on the door but saw nothing unusual until a woman quickly descended the stairs in the house and came to the door, pointing to a man behind her saying, “This guy is robbing me.”
The patrolman pulled out his gun and ordered the man to the ground, but he refused, so Lamtman holstered his weapon and took the man to the ground.
However, the suspect, John A. Thompson, 40, of 5845 Hoagland-Blackstub Road, was able to get back up and run toward a rear door.
The woman’s 18-year-old son, coming up the basement stairs, saw the suspect and grabbed a gym bag he was carrying. The suspect fled into the woods.
Sgt. Greg Coleman of the Warren Police Department, along with his police dog and officers from the Champion Police Department and Trumbull County Sheriff’s office, assisted, and Coleman arrested Thompson about 30 minutes later as he walked toward North River Road from the woods.
The woman told police she heard a noise downstairs and saw a man coming through the window of her house. The man threatened her with a crowbar and ordered her to walk through the house with her, putting items in his gym bag.
She managed to call 911 without Thompson noticing, then continued to walk through the house with him until the officer arrived.
Thompson is charged with felony aggravated burglary, kidnapping and possessing criminal tools and misdemeanor resisting arrest. He is being held in the Trumbull County jail after an arraignment in Warren Municipal Court on Monday.